Statements by Senators

30 March 2023

I rise today to talk about the free trade agreement that Australia has finally been able to seal with the United Kingdom. We heard the welcome news that royal assent was given to legislation to bring the free trade agreement with the United Kingdom into effect. We’ve been speaking a lot about the very deep relationship that exists between our two great countries, particularly through the AUKUS arrangement, and this free trade agreement is another example of that strong relationship between our two great countries. We should not underestimate the significance of the fact that the UK’s first new trade deal since Brexit is with Australia.

Apart from the strong relationship that this deal represents, the strong economic benefits that will be delivered to Australians through the deal should also be celebrated. There are far too many benefits for me to mention in my two-minute statement, but I do want to say that it is good to see that there will be the elimination of tariffs on a number of products and the immediate access to duty-free quotas, particularly for goods from our agricultural sector, as well as faster customs clearance time frames. These are all fantastic outcomes, particularly for Australian farmers, and consumers in the United Kingdom will enjoy increased access to Australia’s finest products.

I want to put on the record my appreciation for the work of one of the finest trade ministers this country has ever seen, Senator Farrell. He’s done an outstanding job—magnificent, as Senator Farrell would say—in sealing the deal with our friends over in the United Kingdom. Good on you, Don; well done. And it will be good to see more trade deals like this in the future.